You belong to a silent minority, but I believe you will have a voice now

I was surprised to see how many people turned up on a Saturday to discuss how to elevate the voice of internationals in Denmark. This might be the beginning of a new era where we will hear more about internationals in the public debate. I welcome that.

Photo: Sune Steffen Hansen

When I started writing columns for The Copenhagen Post some months ago, I looked up how many internationals lived in Denmark.

I was surprised to learn just how international Danish society had become in such a short time. 

The numbers are astonishing: 20 precent of Copenhagen’s population does not have a Danish citizenship, and when we look at the country all together, there are almost 650,000 living here with a foreign nationality, in a population of 6 million.

Despite these numbers, you never hear about internationals’ lives in our country. 

Coming from a background in politics, I have wondered why a community of so many people was so silent.

After all, there is no reason to be silent in Denmark; we have a long history of organising citizen groups based on common interest or topic. This is part of what we call ‘Forenings Danmark’.

You should find inspiration in this concept and use it to bring attention to your life as a foreigner in Denmark.

Use it to bring attention to the challenges you experience, such as an administrative system which works best if you understand Danish and the ongoing struggle with work permits.

During the last couple of months, I have seen it as my mission to help spark an interest among the readers of this newspaper to do something, ultimately hoping that this would build into a citizen group that could promote internationals in the public debate.  

So, in my last column, I invited the readers to meet up.

40 people turned up on a sunny Saturday in the middle of Copenhagen to share their stories and take the next step towards creating an organisation or network of some kind. I was positively surprised, also by the energy among these people. 

This leads me to the following point: I am confident that this group of people has the potential to elevate the voice as internationals in the future. But they need your help to do this.

The network must expand. 40 people is not enough in the long run.

Therefore, write to me on LinkedIn if you want to be part of the next phase.

Let’s support the silent minority in having a strong voice in the future.